Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


Students looking at a book together in the paralegal library

Photo by Samnang Lim

Paralegals provide critical and integral support to lawyers, corporations, public institutions, and other employers. Paralegals work under the supervision of a lawyer, and may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

The Oregon Employment Department forecasts that Portland-area paralegal employment will grow 15.5% through 2027.

Why choose the Paralegal program at PCC?


The Oregon Employment Department reports that in 2019 Portland area paralegals earned from $18.33 to $49.45 per hour. The average annual salary was $70,817.

The Portland Community College Paralegal program has provided students with the fundamental skills and training necessary for success in the legal field since 1973. Our program provides a balance of legal background and hands-on practical skills through training from lawyers and paralegals practicing in the fields in which they teach. PCC’s Paralegal AAS and post-degree certificate have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 2010.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Paralegal2 yearsLimited entry, see how
to get into this program
Certificate: Paralegal1 year
Career Pathway Certificate: Legal AssistantLess than 1 year


What will you learn?

The PCC Paralegal program is designed to provide you with hands-on opportunities to develop:

  • Analytical skills
  • Client relations skills
  • Legal terminology
  • Legal research methods
  • Substantive and procedural law knowledge
  • Writing skills

Learn more in our program overview, which includes information about our program outcomes and goals and ABA approval.

What will you do?

As a paralegal, you may perform the following tasks under the supervision of an attorney:

  • Client intake
  • Document preparation
  • File management
  • Investigation
  • Organize case materials and data for litigation
  • Research
  • Witness interviews

Who will hire you?

  • Courts
  • Law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Government agencies
  • Public service and nonprofit organizations
  • E-discovery companies

Transferring and substituting courses

Learn about our transfer and course substitution policy.

Paralegals may not practice law and may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

The PCC Paralegal program requires each student to complete 14 credits of synchronous instruction. Synchronous instruction means students must attend a scheduled class meeting time each week.

Next steps

See how to get into this program.Get started now

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.